Kepler in talks to acquire CA Cheuvreux
Markets, an independent financial services firm, has entered into exclusive
discussions to purchase French banking group Credit Agricole’s CA Cheuvreux
European agency brokerage arm.
If completed, the
acquisition would lead to the creation of Kepler Cheuvreux, an equity broker
focused on continental Europe with sector and country research covering some 650 stocks.
The new brokerage
would offer its services in 11 European markets and the US and would offer corporate
customers of Credit Agricole – which will retain a stake and be a long-term
partner in the new entity – access to 1,200 institutional investors globally.
“This is a fantastic
opportunity to jointly build a leading brokerage business in Continental
Europe,” said Laurent Quirin, CEO of Kepler. “Once the transaction has closed,
we will become the European leader in equities. We are delighted to have
established a strong partnership with Crédit Agricole CIB along the same lines
as the successful ECM partnership that we have already implemented with
Italian banking group
UniCredit partnered with Kepler in November to create an equities unit offering cash equity research and execution services for western European
stocks. This service includes distribution of Kepler’s equity research and
analyst reports for various UniCredit divisions.
"UniCredit welcomes this
agreement. We will be open to taking a minority stake in Kepler Cheuvreux and will explore a
partnership in ECM with Crédit Agricole CIB to leverage off the strengths of
each bank,” said Jean-Pierre Mustier, deputy general manager of UniCredit.
As part of its agency
execution service, CA Cheuvreux converted its BLINK broker crossing network into
a multilateral trading facility in April. The dark pool offers trading in 1,700
stocks across 14 markets and only includes liquidity from the firm’s clients as
part of efforts to preclude high-frequency traders.
CA Cheuvreux and Kepler were unavailable for comment on how the acquisition would impact execution services for existing customers.